27 October 2011

Samantha Rendle

My guest for Halloween...
Young Indie Writer Samantha Rendle
talks about her hopes, ambitions and her Vampire Novel!

I grew up surrounded by creativity. I’d watch my mum draw portraits of actors, actresses and band members  and wonder how she did it. Her portraits were so accurate and so fascinating to me, and I thought that she could’ve easily made a career out of it. I started drawing people too, but found it very difficult. I thought, if she doesn’t make a career out of her art, I would. However, it took years and years of practice and I’m still far from perfect, far from my mother’s standard. But I knew that whatever career path I wanted to take, I wanted it to be creative.

I found my next idea in secondary school, in Textiles. I knew I’d enjoy it because I spent a lot of time as a child sewing with my Nan. At the end of Year Nine, the time to choose our GCSE options came and I put Textiles down for my DT option.  I remember feeling terribly out of place; everyone was wearing makeup, and had styled their hair, whereas I walked into class in a hoodie, with no makeup on and unstyled hair. Everyone wanted to make dresses, but I made a hoodie. However, at the end of Year Eleven I was the one with an A under my belt, so I went on to do Textiles in my A Levels, along with Art and Media. I made a ball gown in my AS year, which was also awarded an A. But sewing always stressed me out and, at some point, had me in tears because I was convinced I couldn’t do it. I figured I didn’t want to pursue a career in fashion.
  Next came my idea to be involved in the film industry. In my Media class, I was the quiet one with no one to work with, so I always worked alone. Not even the teachers noticed me, until I began my practical piece. Everyone worked in teams, except me. I gathered three friends from outside education and together we filmed a horror trailer. When I told the class my idea of a trailer for a vampire film, I was laughed at, even by the teacher. But I began editing alone in my corner, undisturbed, until Mr Talarico came over to me and asked to have a look. Embarrassed, and certain he wouldn’t like it, I reluctantly showed him, and he liked it. I remember the word ‘poetic’ being used. Suddenly my Media teachers liked me. They thought I was the best in the class, a genius. Mr Kaye-Smith even called me ‘Miss Samantha Rendle.’ However, I knew that even though I was good at practical work, my theory wasn’t up to scratch. Mr Talarico, however, was convinced I’d get an A. When I got an A in my AS year, I thought, maybe I could go on to do this. I could direct or edit films or TV shows. But my theory work still wasn’t good enough, and often had me stressed.
  I clung onto the dream of pursuing a creative career. I’d often read a book or watch a film, an insight to someone’s thoughts or dreams, and feel something – happiness, sadness, confusion, inspiration – and I remember wanting to make people feel that way with my ideas. These were forms of art that offered an escape, if only for a little while.  I remember the first story I wrote. It was in primary school. We had to write a short story in Literacy. I wrote about a boy on a flying pirate ship, with fairies for friends and pirate enemies. I handed it to my teacher at the end of the lesson, and the next day she told me it was the best in the class. When I reached secondary school, I was writing whenever I could. I had an ancient computer at home that I’d spend hours on, writing chapters or drafts, convinced each one would be my bestseller. I remember short stories I wrote for school – one about aliens in Year Nine and one based on the 2005 film The Skeleton Key that received an A* from my teacher in Year Ten. I continued to write throughout my secondary school years, but I never finished a story. I remember writing a few chapters of a story and emailing it to my sister, who asked me what author they were by. Then, in sixth form, I got a laptop for my seventeenth birthday, partly with birthday money and partly out of my own EMA. With no wireless, all I could do on it for the moment was write, so that was what I did. After a month or so, I had 250 pages, filled with my thoughts and imagination. I found SilverWood’s website on Google and sent them my story. Soon enough I was working on publishing my book with SilverWood.
    It’s now my dream to write stories for anyone who wants to read them. I’m always searching for inspiration from anything and everything – adverts, films, books, plays, experiences – and moulding them into a story. It may never be a career as such, but it’s something I’d like to do, make people feel something with my words, my characters and my thoughts.

Available now on Amazon.co.uk
House Of Vampire Facebook Group

And your ten dinner guests Sam?
My Ten Dinner Guests
1.       Sean Smith, vocalist for my favourite band The Blackout – The Blackout is my favourite band for a number of reasons. The first reason is because they can make me feel better in any situation. The second is because their music makes me feel something – You’re Not Alone often reduces me to tears. Another reason is because a lot of their songs often inspire me for stories. I chose this particular member of The Blackout because he’s hilarious and always has something funny or interesting to say. Also I’d like to talk to him about his music and his inspiration. (He’s also Welsh, which is a bonus – I love the accent!) I’ve met him twice, but you can never meet your heroes too many times.
2.       David Cage, writer and director of PS3 game Heavy RainHeavy Rain is a game that makes you think. It’s a game that, in a lot of ways, mimics real life and makes the player think and reflect. It has multiple endings for each choice you make, and a strong ideology: in life, you only get one take and you can’t go back on the decisions you make.  I’d like to talk to Cage about what brought the idea about and ask him which ending he thinks he’d get.
3.       Joss Whedon, Screenwriter, television director, executive producer, composer, actor –He created the Buffy series and wrote and directed the new Avengers film. I think that’s enough said.
4.       Mary Shelley, author of FrankensteinFrankenstein was just genius! I’d want to know how she came up with the idea, the characters, everything. I loved that book.
5.       Altaïr, character from the game Assassin’s CreedI’d have so many questions for him – what’s it like being an assassin in 1191? Will you teach me to climb buildings? – and he’s just cool.
6.       R.L. Stine, Goosebumps author – I read a lot of his books when I was younger, and a few of them are still with me now. Night of the Werecat was one of my favourites, and is part of my inspiration for a book I’m currently planning for.
7.       Alex Gaskarth, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for another band that’s close to my heart, All Time Low – Alex writes most of the band’s lyrics. I’d ask him about his music, but also about his experiences and how it felt to be signed at such a young age.
8.       Jack Barakat, lead guitarist for All Time Low – I’d invite Jack as well as Alex because they interest me in different ways. Jack is the funniest member of the band, and maybe the funniest person I know of. He also has such a presence on stage and always puts on a good performance, so I think having him at a dinner party would be fun.
9.       J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter – she’s just a genius.
10.   Narnia’s Aslan – He’s a talking lion. How much cooler can you get? I’d imagine it like The Tiger Who Came To Tea but with more guests.

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Next time - Special Guest - Christina Courtenay 

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